Has anybody talked to Barack Obama lately?
Something he said in 2016 strikes me as the best perspective on how to handle disappointment over the Breonna Taylor case: “Don’t boo. Vote.”
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron brought charges of “wanton endangerment” against one of the officers involved, angering those who thought multiple murder charges were justified.
Taylor was asleep in her apartment when police burst in looking for drugs that weren’t there. Her boyfriend heard people in the home, assumed they were intruders and shot an officer in the leg. Officers returned fire, killing Taylor, who died never knowing what happened.
It became a focal point for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Cameron, who also is Black, was deliberate in bringing the charges, which came about six months after Taylor’s death. He clearly wasn’t going to bow to public pressure from WNBA players who wore Taylor’s name on their jerseys or social media campaigns that urged authorities to “arrest the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor.”
We can measure equality in votes
Speaking at the Republican National Convention last month, Cameron said that “Republicans will never turn a blind eye to unjust acts, but neither will we accept an all-out assault on Western civilization.”
Cameron also quoted President Dwight Eisenhower, saying that “democracy is a system that recognizes the equality of humans.”
And one of the ways that equality is measured is in votes.
Cameron isn’t up for election until 2023, so anyone who’s dissatisfied can take it out on his party.
Vote against Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. Vote against President Donald Trump. Vote against every Republican you see and encourage others to do the same.
Those who think November is too far away, could get others to register to vote.
The voter registration deadline is Oct. 5 in Kentucky.
We can still hold the GOP accountable
And if you’re not in Kentucky, that’s OK.
There are judges, district attorneys, county attorneys, attorneys general, senators and presidential candidates on ballots across the nation. (Joe Biden has made a point of embracing the Black Lives Matter movement; Donald Trump encourages racists.)
And before anybody makes the argument that one vote doesn’t count in the grand scheme, consider all of the effort that’s been made throughout history to prevent people from voting.
There’s no need to go back to the Freedom Rides or Jim Crow laws, just consider voter ID laws that disproportionately affect poor people, older people or minorities — voters who are most likely to support Democrats.
Or the dismantling of key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
Or the opposition to mail-in voting.
Or the lack of a federal holiday on Election Day.
Or the elimination of polling places in predominantly Black cities.
If that’s not good enough, consider that Florida was decided in 2000 by 537 votes.
Cameron did his job. Now we can do ours
Cameron’s job was to evaluate the evidence and make the decision he saw fit.
The job of the American people is to see whether they agree with such decisions, then use the system to their advantage to support or rebuke the people who make them.
If you don’t like what Cameron said, listen to what Obama said at the Democratic Convention back in 2016.
“Don’t boo. Vote.”
If more people had taken his advice, the nation would look much different today.
Cameron has done his job.
Now he and his party had better hope the people don’t do theirs.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Breonna Taylor make you angry? Do what Barack Obama said in 2016: Vote